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South Africa, EU call for end to violence in Syria

08-25-2012 04:55 BJT

PRETORIA, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- South Africa and the European Union(EU) on Friday called for an immediate end to the growing violence in Syria.

The two sides made the appeal at the South Africa-EU Ministerial Political Dialogue (MPD) that took place in Pretoria earlier in the day, according to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

"Both South Africa and the EU agree that current developments in Syria are serious and that the situation needs to be addressed by the international community despite the differences of approach by members of the United NationsSecurity Council (UNSC)," Nkoana- Mashabane told a press conference after the meeting co-hosted with Catherine Ashton, EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

"Both parties further call for an end to the violence in Syria, " Nkoana-Mashabane added.

Last month, South Africa obtained from voting on the latest UN Security Council resolution threatening further sanctions on Syria, calling the document "one-sided."

The resolution would only make the situation on the ground worse, pushing the Syrian government to further pressure the military option and emboldening the opposition to continue to reject talks, the South African government said.

The EU and the United Stateshave been trying to bring South Africa on board in efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis. But the South African government has made it clearly that it strongly opposes any attempt that might authorize the use of military force in dealing with the Syrian crisis.

Ashton arrived here earlier for the MPD within the framework of the ongoing political dialogue under the auspices of the South Africa-EU Strategic Partnership and the South Africa-EU Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA).

The relationship between South Africa and the EU has been significantly enhanced through the establishment of the strategic partnership on May 14, 2007, which expanded cooperation between South Africa and the EU on issues of mutual interest, Nkoana- Mashabane said.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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